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Summary

  1. Finance Minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir presented a motion on supply resolutions for the 2014/15 excess votes and Northern Ireland main estimates 2016/17.
  2. Deputy First Minister Martin McGuiness and the Education Minister, Peter Weir, answered questions on the floor of the house.
  3. The first stage of the Budget Bill was introduced.

Live Reporting

By Brooke Allen and Robin Sheeran

All times stated are UK

Good evening

That's it from Stormont for today. 

Join us from 10:30 BST tomorrow when we will have full coverage of the second stage of the Budget Bill. 

The communities minister and economy minister will answer questions on the floor of the house. 

Until then, have a great evening. 

First Stage: Budget Bill

The Finance Minister, Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, introduces the first stage of the Budget Bill. 

The speaker then adjourns the assembly. 

The result

The motion is carried by cross-community consent. 

Finance minister 'looks forward to tomorrow'

Patsy McGlone
BBC
Deputy Speaker Patsy McGlone calls on the house to divide

In his closing comments to MLAs, the finance minister says he "looks forward to tomorrow" and "thinks there will be a positive June monitoring in the morning". 

The motion relating to the supply resolution for the 2014/15 excess votes is agreed on an oral vote. 

The motion relating to the Northern Ireland 2016/17 main estimates is put to the house and is not agreed on an oral vote. The house divides. 

'Holed below the waterline'

The minister criticises the Ulster Unionist Party, saying it co-operated with the Conservative Party in the 2010 election and thus became "the enabler of austerity".

"You are holed below the waterline in terms of credibility," Mr Ó Muilleoir adds.

'Blank cheque will not work'

blank cheque
BBC

Minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir replies to the debate, addressing the points made by previous speakers.

On health, he says that "everybody here agrees that money is not the solution".

"The blank cheque will not work in health," the minister adds.

Corporation tax 'not a done deal'

Trevor Lunn
BBC

Trevor Lunn of Alliance says he has the impression that the devolution of corporation tax powers "is not a done deal".

"This thing could easily get postponed," he adds, warning that business fears uncertainty.

'No money tree'

Stormont and tree
Reuters

The DUP's Mervyn Storey says members should remember that they are part of the United Kingdom.

He says the parties must not pretend "that there's a money tree at the bottom of the estate here at Stormont".

'We don't believe in buildings'

Stranmillis University College, Belfast
Geograph
Stranmillis University College, Belfast

Paula Bradshaw of Allaince says she opposes the motion and, in her suggestions for improvements, says "money is wasted on buildings which are not necessary". 

The DUP's Christopher Stalford asks if this comment is a reference to Stranmillis University College and also asks whether the Alliance Party still believes that it should close. 

Ms Bradshaw says "we don't believe in buildings, we believe in services".

"We would encourage those institutions to work together to come up with solutions that would save money from the public purse," she says. 

Domestic abuse concerns

Woman with head in hands
PA

Sinn Féin's Michaela Boyle focuses on the amount of money spent on domestic abuse and says she welcomes the justice minister's commitment on making domestic abuse a priority. 

"While there has been a lot of good work on domestic abuse, I believe there is always room for improvement," she says. 

She says the overall figure allocated for support, in her opinion, is not enough and support for domestic abuse needs to be "adequately funded". 

Ms Boyle says all PSNI officers should have the training to deal with domestic abuse and the public "need to have the confidence" to report this type of crime. 

Finding 'innovative ways' to prevent further constraints

Pam Cameron
BBC

The DUP's Pam Cameron, says the Health Department has "shouldered some extreme budgetary cuts". 

"We must ensure we are looking for innovative ways to safeguard from any further constraints which if they were to transpire, I fear would have an inevitable negative impact on front line services," she says. 

Suspend sittings while matched are played

In his comments on the motion, the SDLP's Mark Durkan says he is "very pleased to see the commitment to the A6 and A5" but he says these projects "may face further delays down the road". 

Sinn Féin's Daithí McKay also makes reference to these road network projects but says there needs to be an assurance to rural communities that "big projects are not going to be delivered at the expense of rural communities". 

In his remarks, Mr McKay says the minister is going to be responding to the debate at exactly the same time as Ireland play Sweden and "perhaps sittings could be suspended" while the North, or the South are playing in the euros! 

Motion debate recommences

The Assembly chamber
BBC

MLAs are returning to the finance minister's motion on supply resolutions for the 2014/15 excess votes and Northern Ireland main estimates 2016/17. 

'The badge on their uniform'

Gary Middleton
BBC

The DUP's Gary Middleton asks the minister for reassurance that all education sectors will be treated equally.

Mr Weir replies that no child will be disadvantaged "simply because of the badge that's on their uniform".

Taoiseach supports remain

BBC NI political editor Mark Devenport tweets

'Anxious and confused'

Child playing
Thinkstock

Chris Lyttle of Alliance asks for "an update on the Education Authority's review of special educational needs nursery provision".

The minister say these are "complex and sensitive issues", and he has met the chair and interim chief executive of the Education Authority to discuss the matter.

Mr Weir says he has been told the review will take six months and interim measures will be put in place.

He says there will be no long-term decisions until the review has been completed.

Mr Lyttle says the uncertainty is leaving parents feeling "anxious and confused".

Education questions

Peter Weir
BBC

Education Minister Peter Weir is answering questions from MLAs on his brief.

Preview of BBC Spotlight programme on collusion

BBC Spotlight NI tweets

A 'disastrous event'

Claire Hanna
BBC

Claire Hanna of the SDLP asks whether, "in the disastrous event of a Brexit", Mr McGuinness has done an audit on the devolution of powers to the assembly that could result. 

"I am not working on the basis of this being a Brexit vote. I'm working on the basis of a remain vote," the deputy first minister says.

'Lack of transparency'

UUP leader Mike Nesbitt says that "a lack of transparency" often leaves senior civil servants "in an impossible position" when they appear before committees.

Mr McGuinness says that under the previous mandate some parties had no problem with "stepping outside of the protocols and briefing the media on the confidential business of the executive".

Stormont Today

Mark Carruthers
BBC

For a round up of today's proceedings at the Northern Ireland assembly, don't forget to watch Stormont Today with Mark Carruthers on BBC2 Northern Ireland tonight at 23:15 BST. 

'Full and frank discussions'

Sinead Bradley of the SDLP asks why "officially recorded minutes of executive meetings are not published".

Mr McGuinness says it is important that executive meetings are an environment where "ministers can engage in full and frank discussions and be confident that the content of their papers and their view are protected".

Question Time

Martin McGuinness
BBC

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness is answering questions on the floor of the house.

NI leaders express sympathy at death of NI fan

First Minister and Deputy First Minister
BBC

First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness have expressed their condolences at the death of Darren Rodgers following Northern Ireland's opening European Championship game in Nice last night.

"The loss of a young life in these circumstances is truly heart breaking and our thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family at this extremely difficult time," they said.

"This sad news is in stark contrast to the jovial carnival atmosphere just hours before at the game against Poland. Our fans have been fine ambassadors for the place we all call home and we encourage everyone to keep safe."  

Budget gives 'very little away'

Mike Nesbitt
BBC

Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt says the budget gives "very little away". 

He says of the finance minister that, "while he can oppose austerity coming out of London, about £100m of programme money in OFMDFM was not spent". 

"Does he accept that added to austerity rather than easing it?" he asks. 

'Some good news'

Classroom
Thinkstock

The DUP's Jonathan Bell says we need to protect family budgets and build on education, "not just on the top for those who are achieving, but those who are underachieving". 

Sinn Féin's Barry McElduff, chairperson of the Education Committee, says there is "some good news in that the overall education resource figure has increased".

He describes it as a "considerable sum of around £35m which has been added to the 2016/17 baseline". 

Speaking as a West Tyrone constituency MLA, Mr McElduff talks about the problems of rural roads and rural broadband and says he hopes to see progress in these areas. 

Alliance concerns

Stephen Farry
BBC

Alliance Party's Stephen Farry expresses concerns that the finance minister is "seeking to solely have a narrative around blaming the UK government in terms of how they are addressing the UK deficit for our current financial situation". 

He agrees that is a factor, however he says "that allows us to take the eye off the ball in terms of reforms that have to take place here in Northern Ireland". 

"We are going to miss a major opportunity for us to put our finances back on a strategic footing," he says. 

'Flawed priorities'

Claire Hanna
BBC

Claire Hanna of the SDLP says the party accepts the "procedural requirements for keeping salaries being paid and keeping services running" and says the party will not oppose these procedures.

However, she raises concerns about the "flawed priorities" within the budget and the "contorted budget process that is a symbol of the systematic process failure of this executive and particularly in b-passing the assembly". 

In conclusion, Ms Hanna says that anything said today will be "absolutely irrelevant in two weeks time" if Northern Ireland leaves the European Union. 

Previous Audit Committee 'satisfied'

John O'Dowd
BBC

Sinn Féin's John O'Dowd speaks on behalf of the Audit Committee.

He confirms that the previous committee "was satisfied that the provision and the estimates will enable the Audit Office to continue to deliver on both it's statutory work and ad hoc work which provides the assembly with truly independent audit assurance". 

'A new energy'

The DUP's Emma Little-Pengelly chairs the Finance Committee.

She notes that the latest estimates reflect the needs of the nine new executive departments.

Speaking as a member of the DUP, she says she believes that with the Fresh Start Agreement "there is a new energy and a fresh hope" to deliver for the people of Northern Ireland".

£100 investment fund

Philip Smith
BBC
Ulster Unionist Philip Smith

The finance minister explains one of the main planks of his financial strategy will be "the establishment of a £100m investment fund". 

He says the "overall aim of the fund is to promote investment, economic grants and jobs here."

The UUP's Philip Smith, making his maiden speech, criticises the DUP and Sinn Féin's "failure to promote reform and change in the public sector".

Opposing austerity

cash
BBC

Mr Ó Muilleoir says the spending plans are focused on "investment in high quality public, services, and, most importantly, a commitment to oppose the austerity programme being driven by the Westminster government".

With this in mind, he says he has requested a meeting with the Chancellor, George Osborne.

Supply estimates 2016-17

Máirtín Ó Muilleoir
BBC

Finance Minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir opens the debate on executive expenditure.

He explains that the motion seeks the approval of the 2016/17 spending plans for the various departments.

The amounts involved are almost £8bn in cash and £8.7bn in resources.

Public petition to save nursing home

Elderly woman
BBC

Sinn Féin's Michaela Boyle has brought to the chamber, a notice of public petition to save Bell Gray House Nursing Home in Newtownstewart. 

She thanks the speaker and business committee for allowing her to bring the issue to the chamber. 

She describes the nursing home as a "well needed facility" in the area. 

'A true gentleman'

The SDLP's Claire Hanna says it was "obviously the trip of a lifetime" and "it is devastating that an accident of this nature has happened". 

David Ford from the Alliance Party mentions social media references to Darren as "a true gentleman". 

"We can assure the family, friends and playing colleagues of Darren Rodgers that he will be in the thoughts and the prayers of all of us at this time," he says. 

Jim Allister also pays tribute to Darren Rodgers, describing the news as a "profound tragedy". 

Death of Northern Ireland Fan in Nice

Ulster Unionist Robin Swann has tabled a matter of the day on the death of the Northern Ireland fan in Nice

It is believed that Darren Rodgers, who was 24 and from Ballymena, was on his own and fell about eight metres from a promenade onto a rocky beach.  

Nice
Press Eye

Mr Swann says "the town of Ballymena is numb at this time due to the news that is slowly filtering out". 

He makes an appeal for fans in France to look after each other. 

The DUP's Mervyn Storey extends his sympathy to the family and friends of Darren Rodgers. 

Raymond McCartney from Sinn Féín offers his condolences on behalf of the party. 

Support for the Orlando victims

SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood says all of us, "right across the world, need to ensure that the gay community can feel equal and full citizens, and we have to do everything we can to change whatever law that we have to change to make sure that happens".  

The Alliance party's Naomi Long says she is "standing in solidarity, not just with those in Orlando and those in the United States, but those globally who are persecuted for their sexuality". 

Jim Allister of the TUV says he condemns the attack and prays for those "so suddenly bereaved by this horror". 

People before Profit's Eamon McCann agrees with the comments made and says "LBGT people still face a hatred, they still face violence".   

Matter of the Day: Orlando Mass Shooting

Mourners and rainbow flag
Reuters

Ulster Unionist party leader, Mike Nesbitt, has tabled a matter of the day on the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida.

"What a lesson to us all about intolerance in our society and how we must not permit it to infect how we think," he says.

Mr Nesbitt asks the speaker write to President Obama on behalf of everyone in the house, "to express our shock and also solidarity with all the people of the United states at this tragic and shocking time". 

The DUP's Trevor Clarke and Sinn Féin's Sean Lynch also make comment on the event. 

Mr Lynch says the fact that [gay] people cannot live and get married here is "also a problem" and he says "we need to change the law so that all citizens are treated equally". 

The Speaker's comments

Speaker Robin Newton begins the  with some brief remarks on MLAs' behaviour in the chamber. 

He makes reference to the positivity in last week's sittings. 

"The deputy speakers and I are struck by the different atmosphere in which we have started this mandate," he says. 

Robin Newton
BBC

First Minister Foster joins NI fans in France

BBC's Good Morning Ulster tweets